News

Wheelhouse Weekly – June 27, 2002

June 27th 2002


THE MASTERS, MATES AND PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLY

– Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use –

Volume 6. . . . . Number 26. . . June 27, 2002

STORIES COVERED

ALSO



 

 

MM&P INDEPENDENCE DAY CLOSINGS

MM&P Port Offices, HQ, PLANS, MITAGS, the MM&P FCU and MIRAID will be closed July 4.

  • MM&P HQ will be open July 5.
  • MM&P Federal Credit Union will be open July 5.
  • Plan Office staff has selected Friday July 5 as their floater holiday and the majority of the office will be closed. A skeleton crew will be on duty at the Plan Office to issue vacation checks and answer critical questions.
    • Health & Benefit calls, for those members and providers that do not choose to use the automated system, will be taken in turn. You may call Ken Ryan directly for vacation checks.
    • Direct dial numbers to reach individuals staffing the Plan Office on Friday, July 5 are:
      • Ken Ryan: 410-850-8617
      • Valerie Verrecchio: 410-850-8603
      • Madeline Petrelli: 410-850-8615

 

West Coast Longshore Holiday Closings

MM&P West Coast Halls in Los Angeles/Long Beach, San Francisco and Seattle will be closed on July 5 in observance of Bloody Thursday and on July 29 in observance of the Harry Bridges birthday longshore holidays.

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

MM&P FEDERAL CREDIT UNION SUMMER VACATION CLOSINGS

The MM&P Federal Credit Union office will be closed from Tuesday, July 9 through Tuesday, July 16, and will reopen for regular business on July 17. Credit Union members are asked to please plan ahead to transact all business prior to July 9.

If there is an emergency and withdrawal of funds are needed during this time, please call the MM&P Plans switchboard at 410-850-8500 and press “0” to reach the operator. This number is for withdrawals only. No loans will be processed during the vacation time.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Kathy Klisavage, Credit Union manager, at 1-800-382-7777 or by email to mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org before July 9.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

PRESIDENT OUTLINES NEW MARITIME SECURITY MEASURES

Earlier this week, President Bush visited Port Elizabeth, NJ, the largest marine cargo terminal on the East Coast, to outline new security measures detailed in the Homeland Security plan. Bush was impressed by the “massive size of this operation and its obvious importance to the economy of our country.”

The Bush administration recently announced more than $92 million in federal grants to maximize security measures in the ports and President Bush used the occasion to outline several tactics that will ensure safer ports:

The President said that, “the Customs Service is working with overseas ports and shippers to improve its knowledge of container shipments, assessing risk so that we have a better feel of who we ought to look at, what we ought to worry about. Inspectors here can focus on high risk shipments. America will be better protected.”

Bush also said that the Port Authority of New York and Jersey is installing a $60 million closed-circuit TV security system, with cameras all around sensitive areas at the port to strengthen its ability to safeguard these facilities. Additionally, USCG inspectors and law enforcement officials now board targeted commercial vessels shortly before they enter the Port Authority to escort them to the docks.

Also earlier this week, the USCG’s Deep Water Project awarded a multi-year contract to replace its aging ship and aircraft fleets, and improve communications and information sharing. Bush said, “The whole purpose is to push out our maritime borders, giving us more time to identify threats and more time to respond. The USCG is also working on ways to better detect weapons of mass destruction.”

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

CONCERNS OVER HOW SEPTEMBER 11 COULD EFFECT ALL LABOR TALKS

Kees Marges, Secretary of the Dockers’ Section of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), has raised significant concerns regarding how the aftermath of Sept. 11 could effect the future of all US labor negotiations.

According to reports published in the Congressional Information Bureau newsletter, Marges is attending contract negotiations as an observer with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), whose contract with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) expires June 30.

Marges says that based on his observations of the negotiations, a major concern “is the way the PMA appears to be trying to use the events of September 11 and the need to improve port security as a way to force the ILWU to accept the unacceptable. US labor relations have changed dramatically since 9/11. Longshore workers and their trade unions, who have always helped lead the fight to defend workers’ interests – in their own country and abroad – now have to operate in a hostile environment in which security is being used to shift the balance of power dramatically in favor of the shipping lines and shippers.”

“It should be a warning for other unions,” Marges stated, “that the ILWU is now confronted not just with difficult economic and legal circumstances, but is being placed under extreme political pressure of a type not previously experienced by the US trade union movement.”

He continued: “If the ILWU and its members lose this battle, it will have a domino effect that will also affect port workers worldwide. The ILWU’s battle should be our battle too. It is crucial that other trade unions, not just port workers and seafarers, support their American colleagues. As the longshore workers here say, ‘an injury to one is an injury to all’.”

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

ILWU HOLDS WEST COAST SOLIDARITY RALLIES

As the Wheelhouse Weekly went to press, members of the ILWU were holding large solidarity rallies at West Coast ports on June 27. MM&P members in LA/LB, San Francisco and Seattle joined in the rallies along with hundreds of other union supporters. ILWU President Jim Spinosa, Teamsters President James Hoffa and ILA President John Bowers were expected to attend a rally of port workers in Oakland.

As the June 30 contract expiration nears, the ILWU has won the wide-ranging support of many influential labor organizations from across the globe including the International Transport Workers’ Federation’s Fair Practices Committee (FPC), one of its most important decision making bodies. This promise of aid follows a similar one by the Federation’s Dockers Section.

The FPC is made up of seafarers’ and dockers’ representatives, and is best known for spearheading the ITF’s flag-of-convenience campaign.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

SENATE TESTIMONY DETAILS MORE ANTI-WORKER PRACTICES

As reported in last week’s Wheelhouse Weekly, for the first time in 14 years, a U.S. Senate committee held a hearing to examine the obstacles workers face when they try to form unions. Here’s more on the testimony that maritime workers and others gave that highlight how difficult successful union organizing can be in today’s work environment.

Capt. Eric Vizier of Lafourche Parish, LA, testified about the collusive anti-worker practices confronting maritime workers in the Gulf of Mexico offshore oil sector. Vizier detailed his harrowing experience with Guidry Brothers Towing Co., of Galliano, LA.

Vizier and other union supporters at the company were threatened, harassed and dismissed from their positions because of their pro-union activities. Further, anti-worker boat owners throughout the Gulf of Mexico have engaged in a coordinated attack on the rights of mariners to form a union, he said.

Anti-worker attacks from Guidry and others began in earnest when Vizier and other Guidry Brothers employees began working with Offshore Mariners United (OMU), a union federation for maritime workers in the Gulf of Mexico offshore oil service industry. As reported previously, OMU is a federation of maritime unions including MM&P, MEBA, SIU, and AMO devoted to improving the working conditions of Gulf mariners through collective action in the workplace.

Joining Vizier in Washington were Capt. Mark Cheramie, a former Guidry mariner, and Capt. Mike Cheramie (no relation), an employee with Trico Marine Services Inc. of Houma, LA. who said. “For two years, Trico mariners have been subjected to threats and intimidation from the company. The company has even fired two captains for supporting the OMU.

Workers from other industries also voiced their concerns on the fear-factor when it comes to union organizing: “The decision to form a union should be based on facts, not fears,” said Nancy Schweikhard, a nurse who helped form a union with SEIU in Oxnard, CA. “But our current labor laws don’t guarantee that,” she told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, chaired by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA).

“The culture of impunity, in which employers routinely violate the law with few consequences for squelching the democratic voice of America’s workers, is unacceptable,” Kennedy said.

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, who also testified at the hearing and at a news conference before the
event, said “Employers flagrantly violate worker freedom of association and get away with it every single day.” To read more about the workers and see videos of their stories, click on www.aflcio.org. For more information see www.aflcio.org/news/2002/0531_voiceatwork.htm.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

MM&P-CREWED HOSPITAL SHIP DEPARTS FOR EUROPEAN EXERCISE

The MM&P-crewed Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS COMFORT set sail from her home port in Baltimore, on Friday, June 28 for a medical training exercise taking place in the Baltic countries from July 15-29.

COMFORT’s Medical Treatment Facility is one of the largest trauma facilities in the U.S. and is staffed by active duty Navy personnel predominately from the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.

The exercise, Rescuer/Medical Exercise Central Europe or MEDCEUR 02, provides training in rescue, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and joint medical operations. It will involve 3,500 people from seven countries, including Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Germany, Sweden and the US, as well as units from the World Health Organization and International Red Cross.

Held in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, the exercise is designed to improve inter-operability among the participating countries by conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations.

One of two Navy hospital ships, Comfort is 894-feet long and has a beam of about 105 feet. COMFORT is essentially a hospital within a ship and offers a full spectrum of surgical and medical services including 12 operating rooms. For MEDCEUR 02, the MTF’s crew will include about 600 people who will deploy for six weeks. The MTF will activate 250 beds and use 11 operating rooms for the exercise.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

REMINDER: MM&P CONVENTION SET FOR JULY 15

The 79th Convention of the MM&P will be convened at 1000 hrs on Monday, July 15 at MITAGS and is anticipated to run through July 17. Members interested in attending can stay at MITAGS at union rates. Email reservations@mitags.org or call the front desk at 410-859-5181 for further information.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Openings in Classes Through the End of October 2002

  • 7/29-8/2: MED FIRST, BRM, ROP
  • 7/29: ROR
  • 7/30: HAZMAT, EAP
  • 7/31-8/2: MED-DOT-DA
  • 8/5-9: CSE-AAES, SHS-BAS, TPIC
  • 8/5-8: SMA
  • 8/8: ATER
  • 8/9: ENVPRO
  • 8/12-23: MED-PIC, GMDSS
  • 8/12-16: SHS-INT I, BRM, COMP-APS, ARPA, WX-HWA
  • 8/13: CBRD-1
  • 8/12: ROR, HAZMAT, EAP
  • 8/14-16: MED-DOT-DA
  • 8/19-23: VPEN, HAZ, BST, SHS INT II, COMP-MAR
  • 8/26-30: ECDIS, FF-ADV, SHS-EMR-5, BRM, ARPA
  • 9/9-13: DCS, SHS-INT I, BRM, FRB, ARPA, COMP-ABSS, VPM
  • 9/9: ROR, HAZMAT, EAP
  • 9/10: CBRD-1
  • 9/11-13: MED-DOT-DA
  • 9/16-27: MED-PIC, GMDSS
  • 9/16-20: BST, CSE-AAES, SHS-INT II, COMP-NET, ROP
  • 9/16-19: SMA
  • 9/19: ATER
  • 9/20: ENVPRO
  • 9/23-27: FF-ADV, SHS-EMR-5, BRM
  • 10/7-18: MED-PIC
  • 10/7-11: SHS-BAS, BRM, ARPA, MSC-COMMS
  • 10/7: ROR
  • 10/14-18: BST, SHS-INT I, ECDIS
  • 10/21-11/15: MED-SMC
  • 10/21: HAZMAT, EAP
  • 10/22: CBRD-1
  • 10/23-25: MED-DOT-DA
  • 10/21-11/1: GMDSS
  • 10/21-25: FF-ADV, SHS-INT II, BRM, ROP, COMP-APS, WX-HWA
  • 10/21-24: SMA
  • 10/24: ATER
  • 10/25: ENVPRO
  • 10/28-11/1: CSE-AAES, SHS-EMR5, COMP-NET

 

KEY TO COURSE ABBREVIATIONS
  • ARPA: Automatic Radar Plotting Aids
  • ATER: Anti-Terrorism Awareness Training
  • BRM: Bridge Resource Management
  • BRMP: Bridge Resource Management For Pilots
  • BST: Basic Safety Training
  • CBRD: Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training
  • COMP-ABSS: Computer Am Bureau Ship Management Software
  • COMP-APS: Computer Application Programs
  • COMP-MAR: Computer Mariner Application Program
  • COMP-NET: Computer Network Systems
  • CSE-AAES: Confine Space Entry-Atmos. Analy of Enc Spaces
  • EAP: Employee Assistance Program
  • ECDIS: Electronic Chart Display And Information Systems
  • ENVPRO: Environmental Protection
  • FF-ADV: Advanced Fire Fighting
  • GMDSS: Global Maritime Distress Safety System
  • HAZMAT: Hazardous Materials
  • MED-DOT-DA: Dept. of Trans. Drug and Alcohol Testing
  • MED-PIC: Medical Person-In-Charge
  • MSC-COMMS: Strategic Sealift Communications
  • ROR: Radio Operator Renewal
  • SMA: Small Arms
  • SHS-EMR: Emergency Shiphandling
  • SHS-INT: Intermediate Shiphandling
  • TPIC: Tankerman Person-In-Charge
  • VPM: Vessel Personnel Management
  • WX-HWA: Heavy Weather Avoidance
MITAGS WEBSITE

Check the website routinely for up to date information on class schedules, trust student policies and procedures, and regulatory changes. Visit the home page at www.mitags.org.

 

NEW COURSE

A 5-day Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation (VPEN) course has been added the week of Aug 19. This course and the ECDIS course, when taken within a year of each other, will satisfy the Advanced Navigation topic area requirements for the new Chief Mate/Master scheme. Both courses must have been completed to satisfy the requirements.

 

SCHEDULE INFO

Schedule through December 2002 is being maintained on the website. Hard copies of the June-December 2002 schedule are being mailed to the halls. Check the MITAGS website at: www.mitags.org for up-to-date info. For additional course info, contact Mary Matlock or Debbie Walton at voice: 443-989-3226 or Email: admissions@mitags.org.

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

PACIFIC MARITIME INSTITUTE ACADEMIC NOTES

Openings in Classes Through the End of November 2002

  • 6/24-28: RADAR, ECDIS, BAFF
  • 7/8-12: ARPA, BST, Med 1st
  • 7/8-19: MPIC
  • 7/15-17: BRM
  • 7/22-26: BAFF
  • 7/22-8/2: GMDSS
  • 8/5-9: ECDIS, BST, Med 1st
  • 8/5-16: MPIC
  • 8/12-16: TPIC Ship and Barge
  • 8/19-21: BRM
  • 8/19-23: ARPA, BAFF
  • 9/2-6: ARPA
  • 9/2-13: GMDSS
  • 9/9-13: BST
  • 9/16-20: BRM, Med 1st
  • 9/16-27: MPIC
  • 9/23-27: ARPA, BAFF
  • 9/30-10/11: ADNAV (new), GMDSS
  • 10/7-11: ECDIS, BST
  • 10/14-18: TPIC ­ B, TPIC DL (new), Med 1st
  • 10/14-25: MPIC
  • 10/21-25: BAFF
  • 10/28-11/1: ARPA
  • 10/28-11/8: GMDSS

 

PMI MEDICAL COURSES

PMI is now offering two week “Medical Person in Charge” and one week “Medical First Aid Provider” course. To learn more about the STCW Requirements for Medical First Aid Provider and Medical Person in Charge, refer to PMI’s webpage at www.mates.org.

 

REGISTRATION

Register online at mates.org.

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 6-26 CLOSE

 D O W

 N A S D A Q

 9,120.10

-311.00 for the week

 1,429.83

 -67.50 for the week
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)

 89.82

 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)

20.69

 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)

 13.91

 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)

 12.09

 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)

 23.60

 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)

10.58

 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)

14.39

 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)

14.06

 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)

 33.21

Fidelity Magellan Fund (FAGX)

 87.01

 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)

  34.47

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex andis posted on our web page under “News” at: http://www.bridgedeck.org.

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